“Another Country” is a straightforward name for a crew that does just as the name suggests – they are out looking for new places to ride mountain bikes, and make videos about it.
Just a couple of months ago we were introduced to the guys and asked to show them around some of our favorite spots. As we write these lines, they are still working on the full video from their trip here, but to keep you entertained while you wait, here’s a really cool teaser to start with. We’ll update you as soon as it’s all done, of course.
Just before they left Israel, we had a short talk with the crew which you can read all about below the video. If you wish to follow them on facebook, here’s their official page.
How did you come to pick Israel as your next destination?
Alexej: Israel isn’t a very well known destination for mountain biking, that already makes it a bit more interesting. We were also looking for varied and different landscapes, which Israel has to offer especially with its desert.
What was your image of Israel before arriving, if you had one?
Kalle: My friends and family thought it might be dangerous to visit Israel, but I didn’t think so and decided to go and find out for myself. I was surprised by the modern side of Israel, Tel Aviv was a good example of that. We thought we would see more old places, just like the images you see around the world of Jerusalem and other ancient locations, it was a nice surprise to see all the rest. In any case, it is always better to arrive to a new place with an open mind.
Alexej: I think mountain bikers have a different way of looking at things. We look for trails and adventures. If you search online for information about Israel, you’ll only find classic touristic information and images. Mixing it up with mountain biking made everything more interesting.
What was your general impression from riding mountain bikes in Israel?
Kalle: I loved the diversity. Rocky singletrack in the woods in the north, and within a two hour drive you are in the desert. I would highly recommend any mountain biker from Europe who is looking for something new to come and ride here. It’s new and very different to what we’re used to riding.
Alexej: Every trail is different, gives you another feeling. You can stay on your local trails all your life and still have fun, but if you ride in another place it’s just different. You will learn more about the environment you ride in, and about yourself. I think it’s important for mountain bikers around the world to ride in other countries and new places.
Out of everything you saw here, what impressed you the most?
Kalle: The desert, and riding through the old market in Jerusalem were both really cool. Riding along the market and next to all the special spices and food stores was unique. The desert riding, for me was a first. I can’t say I had one special spot there, the whole experience together is bigger than just one ride.
Alexej: Akko was great, riding in narrow alleys, feeling surrounded by history and culture around you and seeing people that still live in these ancient cities. The desert challenge was a lot of fun, it was the first time we participated in a desert MTB Marathon. I loved Tel Aviv too, it’s not ONLY on the trails you can have fun here…
Riding with the locals, how did you find the Israeli MTB scene?
Alex (in charge of photography): We met a rider named Roman, at first he looked a bit more like a professor, and he arrived to the desert rides with a hardtail. We didn’t know what to expect, but he was an awesome technical rider, that was a nice surprise! It was also cool to see some older people riding, even on technical desert trails, instead of just sitting at home on the couch, which is what most people their age do…
Kalle: There’s a lot going on in terms of trail building and events, and a lot of motivated riders. You can still feel that mountain biking is a young sport in Israel, but things are happening.
Alexej: I think anybody can have fun on a bike, we don’t pay too much attention to how experienced the riders are, it’s just cool to see everyone outside, we are all like a family of riders.
While guiding the “Another Country” crew, we took the liberty to shoot some “behind the scenes” video, just show they were here to work, not just to have a lot of fun!